There's Something In The Water

Jamie  Green

Backbarrow, Nr Ulverston, United Kingdom

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Wall Art


Artist's Description

The shallows at Tarn Hows in the English Lake District and one of its most famous yet least seen residents makes its way across the bottom. The medicinal leech is one of the UK’s rarest invertebrates.
Sony Alpha 350 DSLR Sigma 70-300 lens
The general morphology of medicinal leeches follows that of most other leeches. Fully mature adults can be up to 20 cm in length, and are green, brown, or greenish-brown with a darker tone on the dorsal side and a lighter ventral side. The dorsal side also has a thin red stripe. These organisms have two suckers, one at each end, called the anterior and posterior suckers. The posterior is used mainly for leverage, whereas the anterior sucker, consisting of the jaw and teeth, is where the feeding takes place. Medicinal leeches have three jaws (tripartite) that look like little saws, and on them are about 100 sharp teeth used to incise the host. The incision leaves a mark that is an inverted Y inside of a circle. After piercing the skin and injecting anticoagulants (hirudin) and anaesthetics, they suck out blood. Large adults can consume up to ten times their body weight in a single meal, with 5-15 ml being the average volume taken.2 These leeches can live for up to a year between feeding.
Medicinal leeches are hermaphrodites that reproduce by sexual mating, laying eggs in clutches of up to 50 near (but not under) water, and in shaded, humid places.
Their range extends over almost the whole of Europe and into Asia as far as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The preferred habitat for this species is muddy freshwater pools and ditches with plentiful weed growth in temperate climates.
Source Wikipedia

Artwork Comments

  • WalnutHill
  • Jamie  Green
  • Heloisa Castro
  • Jamie  Green
  • artwhiz47
  • Jamie  Green
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